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Over at the Castle Hardcover – March 1, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1—The loving Mom and baby from Ashburn and Murphy's Hush, Little Dragon (Abrams, 2008) reenact a variation of another familiar folk song. Well-rhymed quatrains guide readers through a medieval landscape populated with ever-increasing numbers of inhabitants (from one little dragon and two gruff guards all the way up to ten frisky jesters). Suspense builds on each earth-toned page, as mother dragon advises "patience" while child eagerly anticipates the book's culminating surprise: fireworks ignited by the "whoosh" of the dragons' breath. Simple but richly textured oil and acrylic illustrations contain amusing details for observant eyes (the little dragon can be caught peeking inside the castle walls, and an "old wily prisoner" and his "pet rats five" can be spied planning and executing escape from the dungeon). A playful and comforting addition to storytimes.—Amy Rowland, Shelter Rock Elementary School, Manhasset, NY
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The familiar rhythm of the folk song Over in the Meadow finds a new setting as over at the castle, on the hill in the sun, an old mother dragon tries to teach her little dragon patience as they laze about near a castle. Counting is integrated into the tale as two guards watch the gate, three little lords romp about inside, and so on, all the way up to 10 jesters, who juggle to entertain a group of soldiers. Richly textured paintings in subtle hues that fit the medieval period convey the chores of the occupants of the castle, and comedic touches throughout (a mouse sits in the window munching purloined produce as six chefs busily sauté and flambé; the impatient dragon peers in the window while eight guests celebrate) deepen the story and will have children flipping back through the pages. At the tale’s end, the little dragon finally gets to fly and breath fire, and the people of the castle enjoy the fireworks display. Asking what the little dragon is waiting for all this time can be a nice guessing game for storytime. Preschool-Grade 1. --Patricia Austin
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810984148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810984141
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #693,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a cute picture book about a mother and baby dragon who wait around while various daytime activities occur around the castle. Rhyming quatrains are patterned after the song, "Over in the Meadow", although they are written in the present tense and do not always flow smoothly, "Over at the castle, in the hall grand and great/Dance the guests at the party, a festive group of eight. / `Eat and drink!' says the lord. `Be merry!' cry the eight. / So they dance, eat and drink in the hall grand and great." Twice, the baby dragon asks his mother, if it is time: "Now?' Begs little dragon. `Not yet!' says, his mother. / So they laze the day away, / a day like any other" until finally everyone in the castle has settled down and the two dragons light the sky with their fiery flames. One slightly distasteful rhyme about a prisoner who resides in the dungeon with some talking rats might better have been eliminated. The wonderfully expressive illustrations are made with acrylic, oil and gel medium. The dragons are endearingly portrayed: blue and white curved horns, big eyes, and tiny gossamer wings; in one picture, baby dragon looks questionably at his mother as she points a little arm and he holds her long tail.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a preschool teacher and a HUGE fan of sing-along stories. I love "Over In the Meadow", so I couldn't pass this up and I'm glad I didn't. Beautiful illustrations accompany this story of things you see over at the castle. My children love this book and I love singing it. It's darling, it's different and a must for anyone who likes sing-along stories, fairytales and the original "over In the Meadow".
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Format: Hardcover
Again, it rhymes. We love books that rhyme at our house.

The story is told by using numbers incorporated into the rhyme(s) to tell the story of what happens at the castle while a dragon and his mother wait for the day to be over (eg. 2 guards, 3 little lords, etc.). Once the day is over, however, the dragon and his mother get to do something special for the castle.

All in all - a solid book that offers counting, rhyming, and a great big ending!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the rhyme. It also has another book that has a similar rhyme that was written by the same author. They are both awesome. I bought this book because we loved the other one so much. The pictures are great and the story is very witty. love love it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was thrilled to find this companion book for HUSH, LITTLE DRAGON, a favorite bedtime read at our house. In this story the baby dragon has to be patient while the castle staff and residents go about their day. There's the prisoner in the dungeon with his pet rats (my favorite), knights and jesters, cooks and weavers, lords and party guests. My kids love seeing the inner workings of the castle and also finding the dragons in the background of most of the pictures (rolling around on the hill or peeking in a window). So what has the baby dragon been waiting to do all day? Well, I won't give away the adorable ending; let's just say it's worth the price of the book to find out. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a great book for little ones and arrived in great shape. I prefer books that have a little rhyme and rhythm. This book definitely has both.
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